YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Tours & Cruises | JAPAN

A different path, a new view

September 12, 2004|Maggie Barnett | Times Staff Writer

TAKE an offbeat and off-the-beaten-path road trip through southern Japan on a 12-day tour that departs Nov. 10.

The group will visit Yaba-Kei Gorge; Mounts Yufu and Kuju; natural hot springs known as the Hells; Mt. Naka-dake, an active volcano; and the Kintaikyo Bridge over the Nishiki River in Iwakuni, west of Hiroshima.

Participants also will island-hop to the new Otsuka Museum in Naruto, which houses about 1,000 pieces of Western art copied onto ceramic tiles.

"It's something really new," tour operator Kambiz Amirshahiv said of the museum.

The tour will also visit the cities of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kyoto.

Cost: $2,950 per person, double occupancy ($750 single surcharge), includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Osaka, airport taxes and transfers, bus, boat and internal air transportation, lodging, most meals, admissions, hot springs and tours with an English-speaking guide.

Contact: Kambiz Amirshahiv, Hermes Travel and Tours Inc., Torrance; (310) 791-5556,


The Nile leads to antiquities

SEE the ancient pyramids and cruise for four days on the Nile River on a 19-day trip to Egypt that begins Oct. 16, led by Stan Mazin. The itinerary includes stops in Cairo, Luxor, Sharm and Hurghada.

Full-day tours to the Sphinx, Memphis, Saqqara and the bazaar are planned.

Cost: $3,250 per person, double occupancy ($675 single surcharge), includes airfares from LAX and Sharm to Cairo, 16 nights in hotels, cruise, most meals, entrance fees, buses and guides.

Contact: Stan Mazin Travels, Sherman Oaks, (818) 786-6845 or visit


Rock-climbing in Yosemite

Ascend to great heights this fall at one of three "go climb a rock" adventures offered by the Yosemite Mountaineering School in Yosemite National Park.

Participants are grouped according to their skills, from beginner to experienced, which includes multi-pitch climbing. Children must be at least 12 and accompanied by a legal guardian to participate. Accompanying family members or friends don't have to climb.

The Sept. 19 and 26 and Oct. 3 three-night packages include stays in cabins at Housekeeping Camp, two days of rock-climbing instruction, all meals, an opening reception and a closing campfire award ceremony.

Cost: $477 per person double or triple occupancy (roommates will be arranged for singles); $201 for non-climbing guests. Transportation to Yosemite not included.

Contact: Yosemite Mountaineering School; (209) 372-8344,


Birders, hop on board

CRUISE the South Pacific with the Massachusetts Audubon Society on a two-week birding expedition that begins Nov. 13. The 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey will sail to the Fiji and Vanuatu archipelagos and New Caledonia. Birders Dion Hobcroft and David Bishop will lead the group.

The cruise embarks from Nadi, Fiji Islands, and ends in Noumea, followed by two days in Sydney, Australia.

Cost: Audubon rate from $4,820 per person, double occupancy (from $1,670 single surcharge). The price includes accommodations, meals on the cruise, transfers, port charges and port taxes, shore excursions and breakfasts in Sydney. Airfare to Nadi and Sydney is not included.

Contact: Karen O'Neill, Massachusetts Audubon Society; (800) 289-9504,


Christmas -- and it might even snow

Ride in a horse-drawn sleigh on a five-day family holiday tour to Finland and Russia that begins Dec. 16.

Families will see a ballet at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, attend a traditional holiday party at a Russian palace, then fly to Finland, where they will visit the Helsinki Christmas market. An overnight train will take them to Lapland, where they will take a husky-led sled tour to a traditional Lappish camp near the city of Kolari.

Along the way there will be storytellers, circus performers and, finally, Santa Claus and a reindeer sleigh ride.

Cost: $1,849 per person, double occupancy, $1,549 for children 12 and younger, including hotel and train accommodations, tours and guides, parties, theater, most meals and Russian visa support. Airfares to St. Petersburg and Helsinki are not included.

Contact: Beyond Boundaries, Colorado Springs, Colo.; (800) 487-1136,

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. Send information to Tours & Cruises, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 or write via e-mail to

Los Angeles Times Articles